Living in a van, down by the river...

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TacAir
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Living in a van, down by the river...

Post by TacAir » Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:37 am

While this is a well know bit from SNL (youtube.com/watch?v=Xv2VIEY9-A8) it is, in reality, a choice many make today as a way of life. In high cost areas, most notably the bay area, it is the only way many can afford to live. and work locally. My own niece lived in a van for months with her SO in the LA area and western US - some about making a go of being a 'comedian'. They now have 'real' employment, but I was surprised that they had made that choice.

Use "Vanlife" or "Digital Nomad" or "camping in (your make/model auto)" as a search string and you'll find thousands of web pages, UTOOB vids and all manner of books, etc.about van conversions, full time RV living and as a subset of that, folks that live in a RV and work temp gigs as a way to 'finance' their travels. .

All of this had been something I'd looked over from time to time as I have a Eurovan camper and might find a good tip or two. Anyway, this week I finally retired my faithful 1995 Sidekick and picked up a Kia Soul for a around town auto.

In looking for cargo mats, I was surprised to find dozens of videos on how to convert this sub-compact into a 'camper'. As I dug a bit more, I found a mass of 'conversions' for other tiny autos - Prius, 4Runner and so on.

By now, you might be wondering what this thread is about...

Should you be forced to flee your home, you might also be forced to live out of your rig from some time - like these folks (https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/17/us/calif ... index.html).

These videos may offer some valuable tips for living out of your auto for an extended period of time if hotels, shelters or other venues are not available.

If nothing else, you might be trickled to see how inventive some folks are in these conversions
Like this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTAix7sOBuE
TacAir - I'd rather be a disappointed pessimist than a horrified optimist
**All my books ** some with a different view of the "PAW". Check 'em out.
Adventures in rice storage//Mod your Esbit for better stability

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Re: Living in a van, down by the river...

Post by majorhavoc » Mon Jan 06, 2020 2:51 pm

TacAir wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:37 am
If nothing else, you might be trickled to see how inventive some folks ...
Trickle me once, shame on you, trickle me twice ...

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Re: Living in a van, down by the river...

Post by MPMalloy » Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:06 pm

Something I've always dreamed about: Vandwelling & Fulltiming

This is the biggest reason that giving up my van (Lucy) hurt so much. I was going to do exactly what Tacair was talking about. If I had to, that is.

Your literally living in a shoebox.

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Re: Living in a van, down by the river...

Post by boskone » Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:47 pm

I'm actually looking to fulltime, at least for a year or so. Buy a ~30ft RV, sell the house, and hang out in the RV until I find land I like.

Once I'm done with that I might well sell the RV in favor of something like a Casita, Keystone R-pod, or similar. Or keep it and convert a V-nose cargo trailer, might be a fun project for comfort camping.

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Re: Living in a van, down by the river...

Post by TacAir » Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:41 pm

boskone wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:47 pm
I'm actually looking to fulltime, at least for a year or so. Buy a ~30ft RV, sell the house, and hang out in the RV until I find land I like.

Once I'm done with that I might well sell the RV in favor of something like a Casita, Keystone R-pod, or similar. Or keep it and convert a V-nose cargo trailer, might be a fun project for comfort camping.
There is a massive number of "full time" vids posted to UToob.

One site I would suggest is "RV Sue and her canine crew" (https://rvsueandcrew.net/)a very well done site by a retired school teacher that followed the weather for over 6 years in a 17 ft Casita tow-behind. She documented day to day life with a focus on free/cheap places to stay. Her perspective is solid.

I've sold off my 5th wheel, and run a EUrovan camper - a lot cheaper and no storage fees....
TacAir - I'd rather be a disappointed pessimist than a horrified optimist
**All my books ** some with a different view of the "PAW". Check 'em out.
Adventures in rice storage//Mod your Esbit for better stability

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Re: Living in a van, down by the river...

Post by MPMalloy » Mon Jan 20, 2020 6:40 pm

TacAir wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:41 pm
One site I would suggest is "RV Sue and her canine crew" (https://rvsueandcrew.net/)a very well done site by a retired school teacher that followed the weather for over 6 years in a 17 ft Casita tow-behind. She documented day to day life with a focus on free/cheap places to stay. Her perspective is solid.
I haven't checked-in on that site in a grip. Did she go back to posting her monthly budgets?

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Re: Living in a van, down by the river...

Post by CG » Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:18 pm

TacAir wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:37 am
Anyway, this week I finally retired my faithful 1995 Sidekick and picked up a Kia Soul for a around town auto.

In looking for cargo mats, I was surprised to find dozens of videos on how to convert this sub-compact into a 'camper'.
I am slightly disturbed by the idea of turning a Kia Soul into a camper. Hubby, however, pointed that there's more room in my Soul than there is a teardrop, most likely.
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Re: Living in a van, down by the river...

Post by moab » Mon Jan 20, 2020 7:56 pm

I've watched a few of those recently. This one is good as a lifestyle video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNWaFxIVbQM I don't know why. Maybe it's cause I miss the north cascades so much. But I could watch videos like this for hours. lol. It's a guy camping in a snow storm in his van way up in the mountains.

There are a lot of good build out vids too. Those new tall vans make a great space. But I assume expensive. Compared to an old van or something. I had a '99 dodge conversion van for several years. But never camped in it. It had a fold down bed. It was very cool. My wife wouldn't be seen dead in it. But after all those years it's still my sons favorite vehicle we ever had. :)
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Re: Living in a van, down by the river...

Post by EBuff75 » Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:23 pm

Used my Suburban for a week's worth of "camping" in northern Michigan this past fall. Nice to just be able to pull in to a campground, plug in a cord to run some lights/laptop (I stayed in RV slots in the campgrounds), put in my window blocks (foil/bubble wrap type of insulation, painted very light tan on the inside and black on the outside to block the windows), and just chill for the evening. Reverse the process in the morning and I'm on the road.

Biggest drawback for me was the headroom. You end up having to crawl around all the time, and trying to change clothes like that is annoying. Not bad for a short vacation, but I wouldn't want to live that way. I need enough room to stand up! The same would go for a teardrop style camper, which is probably similar space-wise to what I had in the back of my Suburban.

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Re: Living in a van, down by the river...

Post by CG » Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:47 pm

EBuff75 wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 8:23 pm
Biggest drawback for me was the headroom. You end up having to crawl around all the time, and trying to change clothes like that is annoying. Not bad for a short vacation, but I wouldn't want to live that way. I need enough room to stand up! The same would go for a teardrop style camper, which is probably similar space-wise to what I had in the back of my Suburban.
Yeah, I'd have issues with that if I actually tried it. I used to be able to sleep in a tiny screen tent on the ground and change clothes inside my sleeping bag before emerging. Only thing I had an issue with was lacing up bodices. Not anymore...and I don't think I'd want to have something in there to use the bathroom at 3am!
Mater tua caligas gerit!

...I'm sorry, I wasn't paying attention to what I was thinking.

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Re: Living in a van, down by the river...

Post by moab » Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:27 pm

TacAir wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:37 am
While this is a well know bit from SNL (youtube.com/watch?v=Xv2VIEY9-A8) it is, in reality, a choice many make today as a way of life. In high cost areas, most notably the bay area, it is the only way many can afford to live. and work locally. My own niece lived in a van for months with her SO in the LA area and western US - some about making a go of being a 'comedian'. They now have 'real' employment, but I was surprised that they had made that choice.

Use "Vanlife" or "Digital Nomad" or "camping in (your make/model auto)" as a search string and you'll find thousands of web pages, UTOOB vids and all manner of books, etc.about van conversions, full time RV living and as a subset of that, folks that live in a RV and work temp gigs as a way to 'finance' their travels. .

All of this had been something I'd looked over from time to time as I have a Eurovan camper and might find a good tip or two. Anyway, this week I finally retired my faithful 1995 Sidekick and picked up a Kia Soul for a around town auto.

In looking for cargo mats, I was surprised to find dozens of videos on how to convert this sub-compact into a 'camper'. As I dug a bit more, I found a mass of 'conversions' for other tiny autos - Prius, 4Runner and so on.

By now, you might be wondering what this thread is about...

Should you be forced to flee your home, you might also be forced to live out of your rig from some time - like these folks (https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/17/us/calif ... index.html).

These videos may offer some valuable tips for living out of your auto for an extended period of time if hotels, shelters or other venues are not available.

If nothing else, you might be trickled to see how inventive some folks are in these conversions
Like this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTAix7sOBuE
I didn't know you had a sidekick! Those are cool rides. I had a Samurai that I'm always talking about. It's what got me into Jeeps. I drove my Samurai all over the Cascades, down thru Washington, Oregon, California and into Baja Mexico. I loved that car. It had a two piece hardtop so you could remove the sunroof area. I had Honda seats put in it. I even got a free brand new engine installed once by Suzuki. Long and short of it. The dealerships were at war with those importing used Japanese engines. So when my used Japanese engine went out. They offered be a free engine if I signed over my rights to sue the Japanese importers. Probably worth 5 grand at the time - the engine and install. It finally got stolen in LA. And I lost her. But next to my VW super beetle that was the car. I have fond memories of 4 wheeling that thing all over the place. What I hope to do with my Jeep once I move back to WA. Both of them were black too. Something I tried to avoid with the Jeep. As I have gotten over keeping a black car clean! lol.

But ya. A Sidekick is like a deluxe Samurai. In fact I think even better. Didn't it have an upgraded independent suspension?
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

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Re: Living in a van, down by the river...

Post by moab » Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:32 pm

Actually I just remembered. My favorite person that lives in his car is



He lives in his Jeep Wrangler CJ7. Talk about a tight fit. But he's transitioning into an older Wagoneer now. He took the front passenger seat out of his Jeep. And used an aluminum cot for his bed. He had to bend one of the legs to get it to fit. But he lived in it for several years IIRC. He even got his GF to live in it with him. lol. Anyway. It's a great channel. And I know he has a Patreon channel as well.
"Ideas are more dangerous than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why would we let them have ideas?" Josef Stalin

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Re: Living in a van, down by the river...

Post by TacAir » Fri Jan 24, 2020 1:36 am

MPMalloy wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 6:40 pm
TacAir wrote:
Sun Jan 19, 2020 12:41 pm
One site I would suggest is "RV Sue and her canine crew" (https://rvsueandcrew.net/)a very well done site by a retired school teacher that followed the weather for over 6 years in a 17 ft Casita tow-behind. She documented day to day life with a focus on free/cheap places to stay. Her perspective is solid.
I haven't checked-in on that site in a grip. Did she go back to posting her monthly budgets?
No. She bought a house in SoAz (Benson?) and the trailer now mostly sits in the back yard. Full timing for 6 years is pretty epic...

Lots of good info on free and low cost camping areas.
TacAir - I'd rather be a disappointed pessimist than a horrified optimist
**All my books ** some with a different view of the "PAW". Check 'em out.
Adventures in rice storage//Mod your Esbit for better stability

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Re: Living in a van, down by the river...

Post by TacAir » Fri Jan 24, 2020 1:38 am

moab wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 10:27 pm
TacAir wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:37 am
While this is a well know bit from SNL (youtube.com/watch?v=Xv2VIEY9-A8) it is, in reality, a choice many make today as a way of life. In high cost areas, most notably the bay area, it is the only way many can afford to live. and work locally. My own niece lived in a van for months with her SO in the LA area and western US - some about making a go of being a 'comedian'. They now have 'real' employment, but I was surprised that they had made that choice.

Use "Vanlife" or "Digital Nomad" or "camping in (your make/model auto)" as a search string and you'll find thousands of web pages, UTOOB vids and all manner of books, etc.about van conversions, full time RV living and as a subset of that, folks that live in a RV and work temp gigs as a way to 'finance' their travels. .

All of this had been something I'd looked over from time to time as I have a Eurovan camper and might find a good tip or two. Anyway, this week I finally retired my faithful 1995 Sidekick and picked up a Kia Soul for a around town auto.

In looking for cargo mats, I was surprised to find dozens of videos on how to convert this sub-compact into a 'camper'. As I dug a bit more, I found a mass of 'conversions' for other tiny autos - Prius, 4Runner and so on.

By now, you might be wondering what this thread is about...

Should you be forced to flee your home, you might also be forced to live out of your rig from some time - like these folks (https://www.cnn.com/2018/11/17/us/calif ... index.html).

These videos may offer some valuable tips for living out of your auto for an extended period of time if hotels, shelters or other venues are not available.

If nothing else, you might be trickled to see how inventive some folks are in these conversions
Like this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTAix7sOBuE
I didn't know you had a sidekick! Those are cool rides. I had a Samurai that I'm always talking about. It's what got me into Jeeps. I drove my Samurai all over the Cascades, down thru Washington, Oregon, California and into Baja Mexico. I loved that car. It had a two piece hardtop so you could remove the sunroof area. I had Honda seats put in it. I even got a free brand new engine installed once by Suzuki. Long and short of it. The dealerships were at war with those importing used Japanese engines. So when my used Japanese engine went out. They offered be a free engine if I signed over my rights to sue the Japanese importers. Probably worth 5 grand at the time - the engine and install. It finally got stolen in LA. And I lost her. But next to my VW super beetle that was the car. I have fond memories of 4 wheeling that thing all over the place. What I hope to do with my Jeep once I move back to WA. Both of them were black too. Something I tried to avoid with the Jeep. As I have gotten over keeping a black car clean! lol.

But ya. A Sidekick is like a deluxe Samurai. In fact I think even better. Didn't it have an upgraded independent suspension?
I've retired the Zuki. Got tired of scraping ice off the inside of the windshiled in the winter...
TacAir - I'd rather be a disappointed pessimist than a horrified optimist
**All my books ** some with a different view of the "PAW". Check 'em out.
Adventures in rice storage//Mod your Esbit for better stability

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